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Full text of "The Gay Genius"

2io                            THE GAY GENIUS

strictly yoga. In a note to his brother he described the final goal of
meditation in the orthodox yoga manner. He did not think that the
state of true perception of truth or God or the world soul, as a result
of emancipation from sense perceptions, consisted in seeing anything,
but rather in seeing nothing at all.

^

"If the mind is divested of all its sense perceptions, this is the
goal. It seems to me that whenever the mind is so divested, it is
already the perception of truth. But this perception of truth, or
samadhi, is not something that exists or does not exist, and is not to
be described by words. Therefore the Masters taught their disciples
that they should stop there. It is like removing the cornea from the
eye; the eye sees as soon as the cornea is removed. A doctor has a
way of removing the cornea, but he has no specific way of conferring
vision upon the eye. If vision is something, it is itself a cornea.
. . . People who do not understand sometimes describe a state-15?
animal unconsciousness as the state of buddhahood. If so, then when
cats and dogs sleep after being well fed, their bellies moving
rhythmically with their respiration, these animals, too, do not have a
thought on their minds. It would obviously be incorrect to argue
that therefore the cats and dogs in such a state have entered buddha-
hood. . . . Am I correct in thus interpreting what you taught me?
March 25, 1083 "

To this yoga practice Su Tungpo brought additional factors tbjf~
were purely Chinese, so far as I am aware. He not only excluded tin
acrobatic bending and twisting of loin, leg, and neck, and odiP
grotesque contortions of yoga, but introduced the periodic swallowing
of saliva, which springs entirely from Taoist speculations on
physiology. In a letter to 'Chang Fangping, to whom he was recom-
mending his own practise, he describes it as follows:                     r

"Sit up in bed any time between midnight and dawn. Wrap your-
self with a bed quilt. Sit with crossed legs facing east or south.
Move your lower jaw up and down thirty-six times. Clenclj your
hands, either digging the thumbs agaiixst the inside of the r
fingers or enclose the thumbs by the fingers, and rest the
against the small of the waist. Hold your breath, for thiž is a
important point in the Taoist art. First, close your eyes and
your mind, trying to clear it of all thoughts and maintaining as far
as possible a mental void. In consequence you will find your respira-
tion gradually slowed down. Then close your mouth and nose and
hold yo*ir breath. Try to imagine and see your inside organs. Try
lo think that your heart is fire, but direct its light downwards to